Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger pulls big U-turn on Carling Cup

Posted by - October 27, 2010 - Arsenal, EFL Cup

I don’t want to win it. Yes I do. No I don’t

“I know we have not won a trophy since 2005 but I do not consider that if you win the Carling Cup you will be going on a trophy parade. It is a competition for our younger players. If I don’t play them here where would I play them? We played in the quarter-final of the Champions League last season against top teams. Playing in those matches is 10 times harder than playing in the Carling Cup.”

Arsene Wenger, December 2009.

“I said to the players we will go for everything we can, as simple as that. [We are] not really specifying one more than the other one. We have a big squad, and as well, a good enough squad to go forward with trophies. That’s why I think, ‘OK let’s go as far as we can’. At the moment it is important for everybody to think we go for everything we can.”

Arsene Wenger, October 2010.

It seems another trophy-less season has had a profound effect on Arsene Wenger’s Carling Cup philosophy. Following his side’s exit against Manchester City last season and his repeated penchant for fielding a team of young reserves, Wenger stood by his decision to pay little attention to the competition.

But the transition from four season without silverware to five seasons has brought with it a new outlook on the situation. Arsenal are set to field a much stronger side for tonight’s clash with Newcastle than they have for the Carling Cup in recent seasons.

Wenger said: “There are a lot of demands from people who know you are at the top and they try always to find your weakness. They try to exploit that. We want to respond with the maximum commitment to the demands of people.”

We prefer to sum up the new philosophy as: beggars can’t be choosers.

  • rubbish

    What a great article, thanks for that,my life is now complete

  • Flint McCullough

    No “beggars can’t be choosers” here, quite the opposite in fact.

    I feel a very big squad of young quality players is more significant than any change of attitude to the Cup competitions.

    It was always about large scale rotation, 8 to 11 changes from the previous PL game. That remains the same except that Arsenal now have so many players, who because of injuries & cup games, are recognised as 1st teamers even if they might not make it into a fully fit selection, something that has not been achieved since the move to the Emirates.

    There was a slightly stronger element to the Spurs game, but that, I feel, was down to injuries at the time & a gap of juniors being not quite ready for 1st team football.

    Most Arsenal fans enjoy the CC because it is always such great entertainment seeing the 2nd team usually play very competitive & creative football against all comers. There is always a full house for the CC Emirates games, with the club reducing prices so that many more youngsters get to see a game.

    Yes there is an element of impatience within the Arsenal support but the majority see the bigger picture that ain’t so far away from being revealed.

  • Rob Parker

    Well, I guess we won’t know for certain until the team sheet is in, but certainly the impression that Wenger is giving in his interviews is that it will be 2-3 changes rather than the usual 8-11.

    While you’re point about a bigger picture coming together might be true, I think it’s fair to say that in the short-term Wenger has realised he’s pretty much been throwing a way a decent chance to win a trophy.

    When Arsenal have fallen short in the Premier League and Champions League, I don’t think he can justify turning his nose up at the Carling Cup at the moment.

    So that’s what I mean by beggars can’t be choosers: any trophy will do for now.

  • Flint McCullough

    My guess is that Djourou & Denilson will be the only starters from Sunday’s starting line up & that may depend on Diaby’s fitness. It may be possible that Cesc will also play because he is not yet fully up to speed & needs the game time.

    The bench may well be much stronger than previous CC ties.

    I agree it is a competition that is particularly winnable this season but Newcastle away is a very tough draw whatever team is put out & we live in times when the PL has become over important.

    My own view is that momentum is important and Arsenal now have so many interchangeable players that it would make more sense to rotate (or give youngsters experience) only 2 or 3 and rest players in PL games also, as & when necessary.

    I am not so sure that the CC rested players don’t turn off because to me it is not insignificant that the shock home defeats to Hull & recently WBA have both come after very good CC performances.


    Why can’t you guys stop criticizing AW, if just seems anything he does calls for criticism. Every Arsenal Player deserve to be in the line of all Arsenal matches, the man who calls the shot his AW, strong or weak (as it may seem to you) he would always field a team he believe could win the game for him.